Elderly Man Dies After Suffering a Fractured Neck at Auburn Care Facility

Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Auburn Oaks Care Center located in Auburn, California, for elder abuse, negligence, negligent hiring and supervision, and wrongful death. The lawsuit alleges that the facility neglected one of its patients, Nathan Gwin, causing him to suffer a series of falls that resulted in a fractured neck, which ultimately led to his death.

“The facility was understaffed and lacked training, and as a result Nathan suffered not only one fall, but also multiple falls and fractures over the period of time he spent in the facility,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia.

In April 2014, Mr. Gwin had a fall while out and about, and was taken to Kaiser, where an X-ray proved negative for fractures. He was also treated for a urinary tract infection, and was released to Auburn Oaks Care Center to undergo rehabilitation.

Upon Mr. Gwin’s admission to the facility, the staff was well aware that he had suffered previous falls and was a substantial risk for suffering further falls. However, throughout Mr. Gwin’s stay, the required care he needed was wrongfully withheld from him. As a result of the facility’s failure to take action with the required interventions needed to protect Mr. Gwin’s health and safety, he suffered a series of preventable falls and a neck fracture, all of which were fraudulently concealed by the facility.

As a result of the facility’s negligence, Mr. Gwin suffered an entirely preventable fall that caused him to suffer a brain hemorrhage with left subdural hematoma.

Later, Mr. Gwin’s daughter went to the facility to complete paperwork related to his admission and immediately upon her visit, she found Mr. Gwin unresponsive and drooling. She confronted the staff and demanded that they perform emergency services or call 911. They refused to do either and insisted that he was “fine.”

Eventually, emergency services were contacted and Mr. Gwin was transferred to Kaiser hospital, where an X-ray confirmed that he had a broken neck. It was also confirmed that his lack of consciousness coupled with his neck fracture was caused by the impact from a fall he had taken while at the Auburn Oaks Care Center.

The facility had failed to notify Mr. Gwin’s physician that he had fallen while under their care. Instead, in an effort to conceal this fall and the injury it had caused, the staff made no record of the incident and simply placed the unconscious Mr. Gwin back into his bed.

As a result of the fracture in his neck, Mr. Gwin lost mobility in the rest of his body and was bedbound. His paralyzed state caused his overall health to decline, and he passed away on August, 3, 2014.